On a Thursday afternoon this past winter, a course developer colleague sent me an instant message. He was working on a course and needed some assistance configuring an environment with WebSphere Application Server Intelligent Management Pack. His environment did not have the capacity or the resources to quickly “put up” this configuration. The configuration he needed included a deployment manager, two on-demand routers, two HTTP servers and four custom nodes. This configuration is quite resource intensive (a total of nine instances or virtual machines was required). To make this problem more interesting, he needed this configuration the next day.
Could I provide some assistance?
I just so happened to be in the middle of developing a course that covered pattern development and deployment with IBM PureApplication System. Essentially, a pattern is a recurring solution to a standard problem. My colleague definitely had a problem and fortunately, IBM PureApplication System provided me with the capability to deploy a pattern that could help him out with his problem.
PureApplication System is provisioned with virtual system and virtual application patterns. They are fundamentally different. Virtual application patterns are focused on the application and when deployed, PureApplication determines the middleware topology that best suits the application. Virtual systems are middleware focused and provide the deployer a greater degree of deployment flexibility. A virtual system pattern was the solution for my colleague.
PureApplication System maintains a catalog of parts, such as HTTP servers, on demand routers and so forth. Using the Pattern Editor, I was able to build a pattern from these parts that met his needs. Dragging the parts to the canvas took me less than five minutes to complete. The resulting pattern is show below. Notice that the relationship between each part is configured automatically. The version and number of each part is also configurable. These characteristics represent built-in pattern intelligence.
He needed additional changes made to the pattern such as enabling global security, configuring message persistence, enabling overload protection and configuring health policies. This was not an issue since PureApplication System exposes a number of configuration points through virtual system patterns. After about 20 minutes of instant message exchanges, the virtual system pattern was ready for deployment.
Deployment of a virtual system pattern such as this took about an hour. In the background, PureApplication System did an incredible amount of work that was normally done by an application server middleware team. Resources were allocated, products were installed, products were configured, resources were started and finally, the entire system was available. PureApplication System created a total of nine virtual machines. By the end of the business day, he had a completely functional system and could begin his course development and testing.
Was this an efficient, agile and quick approach to this problem? The answer is a resounding yes. In a typical shop, this process would have taken days or possibly weeks to complete. Using PureApplication System’s patterns of expertise, we were able to design, develop, and deploy a functional system in less than half a day.
For more information on patterns of expertise, please download and read this IBM whitepaper that provides an overview of IBM PureSystems patterns.
This paper is intended to give business decision makers and IT executives an understanding of IBM PureSystems patterns—what they are, how they work and why they can provide exceptional value to an organization.